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Strategies for Public Management Reform

ISBN: 978-0-76231-031-9, eISBN: 978-1-84950-218-4

Publication date: 8 November 2004


This concluding chapter attempts to capture and extend the lessons rendered in the previous chapters in this book. In overview we may observe that over the past three decades, criticisms about government performance have surfaced across the world from all points of the political spectrum. Critics have alleged that governments are inefficient, ineffective, too large, too costly, overly bureaucratic, overburdened by unnecessary rules, unresponsive to public wants and needs, secretive, undemocratic, invasive into the private rights of citizens, self-serving, and failing in the provision of either the quantity or quality of services deserved by the taxpaying public (see, for example, Barzelay & Armajani, 1992; Jones & Thompson, 1999; Osborne & Gaebler, 1993). Fiscal stress has also plagued many governments and has increased the cry for less costly or less expansive government, for greater efficiency, and for increased responsiveness. High profile members of the business community, financial institutions, the media, management consultants, academic scholars and the general public all have pressured politicians and public managers to reform. So, too have many supranational organizations, including OECD, the World Bank, the European Commission. Accompanying the demand and many of the recommendations for change has been support for the application of market-based logic and private sector management methods to government (see, for example, Harr & Godfrey, 1991; Jones & Thompson, 1999; Milgrom & Roberts, 1992; Moe, 1984; Olson et al., 1998). Application of market-driven solutions and business techniques to the public sector has undoubtedly been encouraged by the growing ranks of public sector managers and analysts educated in business schools and public management programs (Pusey, 1991).


Jones, L.R. and Kettl, D.F. (2004), "18. ASSESSING PUBLIC MANAGEMENT REFORM STRATEGY IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT", Jones, L., Schedler, K. and Mussari, R. (Ed.) Strategies for Public Management Reform (Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 453-473.



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